Details

Keywords Change this

Modernism, Cinema, Foma, Art Deco

Project timeline

December 31st 1969 – 1968

Type

Culture & Entertainment

Location Change this

184 Soi Siam Square 1, Khwaeng Pathumwan
Bangok
Thailand

Architect Change this

Client Change this

Siam Mahora Sop Com. Ltd.

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Article last edited by Bostjan on
October 02nd, 2020

The Scala Cinema Change this

Bangok, Thailand
by Jira Silpkanok Change this
1 of 15

Description Change this

The Scala Theatre is located in Siam Square, Bangok of which the area is owned by Chulalongkorn University. The private company has rented this area for development since 1962. It was a thousand-seat movie theater named after the Teatro alla Scala, Milan's opera house. Scala opened on 31 December 1969 with a screening of The Undefeated (1969), a US Western starring John Wayne and Rock Hudson. It closed on 5 July 2020, showing, as its last film, Cinema Paradiso. The Scala, called "...the finest movie theater left in Southeast Asia" was the last stand-alone cinema in Bangkok, down from roughly 140 movie houses in the 1950s and 1960s. Designed by architect Chira Silpakanok, the building is late-Modernist in design with interior decorations in the Art Deco style. A grand staircase dominated the interior, illuminated by a huge Italian chandelier. The cinema received the ASA Architectural Conservation Award in 2012. The building's future is uncertain as Chulalongkorn University, owners of the property, searches for a new tenant.

The architecturally significant cinema’s Art Deco stylings and interiors were designed by architect Jira Silpkanok which with its velvet curtains, veteran ushers, and vast auditorium, evoked the golden age of film exhibition. Specifically, the foyer consists of a huge domed ceiling, set up with bronzed art deco flowers. You are conquered by the vaulted windows that frame Bangkok as a choreographed spectacle - by the different types of textures both on the base of the columns outlining the shadows. Two stairways converge at the top taking you to the second floor, while almost touching the long chandelier that illuminates the center. A visionary architecture, where as soon as you enter it seems to be in a ship, or a spaceship.

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